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We speak to former professional footballer Fabrice Muamba about Virgin Media’s initiative with the British Heart Foundation and why CPR training is vital

By Laura Rutkowski, Senior Staff Writer

Working with the British Heart Foundation, Virgin Media has given 500 front-line Virgin Media staff CPR and defibrillator training, alongside portable defibrillators for each of their company vehicles. Find out more here.


This initiative has already helped save a life when Virgin Media Field Technician Morgan Sherlock, just months after completing his training, used his mobile defibrillator to administer shocks to a man who had suffered a cardiac arrest at the roadside while they waited for an ambulance.


Yet new research has found just 26% of UK adults say they know how to both administer CPR and use a public access defibrillator.


To help spread awareness about defibrillator access and CPR training, Virgin Media has joined forces with former footballer and cardiac arrest survivor Fabrice Muamba.


Virgin Media has teamed up with former footballer and cardiac arrest survivor Fabrice Muamba for its initiative with the British Heart Foundation

No one knows the lifesaving ability of CPR and defibrillators better than former footballer Fabrice Muamba, who was immediately administered CPR and then shocks from a defibrillator after suffering a cardiac arrest during a 2012 FA Cup match. His heart stopped beating for 78 minutes.


Dubbed the “miracle man” after he made an extraordinary recovery, here he is, in his own words, on their importance. 


“I was in disbelief that it happened to me. I was fortunate that I had the best medical care I could ask for – four doctors, an ambulance ten seconds away and a cardiologist who was watching the match [who came to help]. They looked after me and helped me to make this recovery, because not many people go through what I went through and survive.


“Since that happened, it was a wake up call that many people might not have the same treatment as me. The least I can do is raise awareness and make sure that people are trained in CPR, and that they have access to a defibrillator.


“It’s a great initiative by Virgin Media to train their frontline staff in CPR and that they carry portable defibrillators in their company vehicles.


“You can only help somebody if you know what to do. If somebody doesn’t know how to give CPR, they’ll be scared to do something wrong or hurt someone, but if you’re trained, and you find yourself in that situation, you give an individual a huge chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest.


“You can’t go wrong with a defibrillator. Once you open it, it actually speaks to you. It tells you exactly where to put the pad and when to give a shock. It won’t let you shock someone if they don’t need it. 


“After my cardiac arrest, I sat down and spoke to somebody about my feelings and thought processes, because I didn’t choose to retire, this was something that was taken away from me. I have no control over it. I just accept what life has to offer and move on with it. In sports, the players are human beings, they’re not invincible. Nobody is untouchable. 


“I will always carry on speaking about this and shining a light on it, because it’s something personal to me. To come close to losing my life but still be here, it’s only right that I keep chanting about the importance of having good medical care and having people around you who can do CPR. I enjoy every single day as it comes because nobody knows what’s going to happen.”


For more information:

British Heart Foundation: How to do CPR

British Heart Foundation: How to save a life

Bringing roving defibrillators to the nation

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Interviews: Any opinions expressed in interviews are those of the interview subject and not those of Virgin Media.